MCSO investigating origin of explosives found in desert near Fountain Hills

FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ - Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies were back on the scene Tuesday after grenades and fuses were found in the desert near Fountain Hills.

According to officials, the explosives were spotted on State Route 87 near mile post 208 Monday evening.

Investigators said they found a handgun along with a number of ammo cans buried in the ground in the same area they discovered the explosives.

The MCSO bomb squad used a map they found with the explosives on Monday to pinpoint 20 different locations they believed the explosives were.

Seven of the twenty locations on the map had ammo cans buried in the ground. All of them were filled with various types of explosive components including pieces of grenades. They also found a handwritten note listing inventory with one of the cans.

MCSO officials said the rest of the 20 locations on the map are shooting targets the person who buried the ammunition used.

Officials matched all the ammo they found in the cans with the inventory list and now believe everything is accounted for.

They don't know who is responsible for burying the explosives or ammunition, but have some ideas as to why the person is doing it.

"It could either be a Doomsday prophet or a hobbyist, maybe they think they're being safe by burying these things and they come out here every once in a while for target practice and use these devices," said MCSO Sgt. Brandon Jones.

Officials said the explosives vary in age from new grenades, to grenades from 50 or 60 years ago.

MCSO completed their search around 5 p.m. Tuesday and have opened the area back up to the public.

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